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State regulators reject requests to toss out Keystone XL

PIERRE, S.D. — State regulators could make a decision as early as next month on whether to again approve the South Dakota portion of the Keystone XL pipeline. The state Public Utilities Commission denied requests Tuesday to throw out the pipeline project. Opponents argued that President Barack Obama killed the pipeline in November. William Taylor is an attorney for TransCanada ...

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First responders often unprepared for derailments

Amid the sounds of wrenching metal and crackling fire, the hissing whine signaled that one of the overturned tank cars was doing its job. Flames licked the tanker just outside the state fairgrounds on July 11, 2012. Thousands of gallons of ethanol heated up inside the car. As pressure mounted, the intense heat weakened its shell, less than an inch ...

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Congress kills U.S. oil export ban, boosts solar, wind power

Wind turbines and oil well outside Sweetwater, Texas, USA. (Image: Michael W. Wile via Flickr)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Congress voted on Friday to repeal the 40-year-old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil in an energy policy shift sought by Republicans as part of a bipartisan deal that also provided unprecedented tax incentives for wind and solar power. The Senate, on a 65-33 vote, approved lifting the ban and providing five-year extensions of tax breaks ...

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Bakken oil drilling declines, but jobs and pay remain firm

Last year, when low oil prices cut North Dakota’s Bakken drilling in half, things in Montana really didn’t look much different. It turned out the Treasure State really didn’t have much wealth beneath it anyway, at least none that could be tapped as easily as the oil beneath North Dakota. The number of rigs in North Dakota slid from roughly ...

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Dakota Access Pipeline inches toward construction

The good news keeps flowing for Dakota Access LLC, but not so much for opponents. On Monday, the final order of approval for Dakota Access to construct the controversial oil pipeline in South Dakota was issued by the state’s Public Utilities Commission, and two days later the Illinois Commerce Commission unanimously approved its state’s portion of the 1,134-mile pipeline. With ...

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Earthquake shakes north Fort Worth, Haslet and Alliance corridor

Earthquakes in Texas

An earthquake estimated at magnitude 3.0 was felt in the Alliance corridor and across northern Tarrant County late Thursday afternoon in what was possibly the first within the Fort Worth city limits. Residents reported pictures shaking and a feeling that something had hit the buildings they were in. Richard Harrison, a Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman, said no immediate reports ...

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Officials: Plane wreckage near Texas peak from earlier crash

GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, Texas — Federal officials say reports of a single-engine airplane crash earlier this month near the highest peak in Texas were erroneous and that wreckage found near the peak is from an earlier crash. Authorities initially said the plane went down Dec. 8 in Guadalupe Mountains National Park at an elevation of about 8,700 feet above ...

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Texas jobless rate for November increases to 4.6 percent

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas unemployment rate for November rose to 4.6 percent, the third straight month of statewide higher jobless figures, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday. The October jobless rate in Texas was 4.4 percent. Texas in September had 4.2 percent unemployment, according to TWC figures. The nationwide jobless rate for November was 5 percent. “Texas employers added ...

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ND Petroleum Council: Vote will lift oil export ban to provide long-term benefits, energy security

Bismarck, N.D. – The vote in the United States Senate and House of Representatives to lift the ban on crude oil exports will strengthen the nation’s national security, keep energy prices low for consumers and help add stability to an otherwise volatile commodity market said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “The petroleum sector has been an ...

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Bakken pipeline supporters, foes speak out at Iowa DNR meeting

Des Moines, Iowa

DES MOINES — Iowans gave mixed reviews during a public meeting Wednesday to a proposed oil pipeline that would cut across the state — some favoring it and the jobs it would provide, others calling it an environmental threat to be rejected. A crowd of nearly 100 people attended a sometimes raucous meeting held by Iowa Department of Natural Resources ...

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